Ballroom dancing had its Cebu nightlife heyday in the ’90s, with, shall we say, the more mature members of society burning up the dance floors of ballroom clubs around the city. But almost 30 years on, a different dance style has emerged to steal the spotlight: salsa. The Latin dance, originating from the Caribbean and known for its sensual movements, has been picked up by young Cebuanos. Together with other genres, including the Dominican bachata and Angolan kizomba, salsa is on its way to becoming a dance movement in the city.
“It’s high-energy and the music is infectious,” says Jilly Enriquez of the Cebu Salsa Club. She formed the club with friends in 2011, while looking for alternatives to local clubbing. “People say Filipinos are the Latinos of Asia, and it’s true,” she says. “300 years of Spanish occupation has left an indelible mark on our culture — these influences can be found in the way we move and the ways in which we live and enjoy life.”
Want to join the craze? Pick up the basics of salsa dancing at a workshop organized by the Cebu Salsa Club. You can sign up for a free session on Facebook. Then, practice your moves while making new friends at the thrice-weekly salsa night sessions at Maya Mexican Restaurant. Kick-start your groove with their two-for-one cocktail specials.
After joining one — or a few! — of the daytime workshops at the Cebu Salsa Beach Party, go for an all-nighter starting with a beach dinner party, followed by performances and dancing ’til dawn.
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This article first appeared in the July 2018 issue of Smile magazine.